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Sep 3, 2008

Avoid Trans Fats

Trans fats are formed in a process called hydrogenation, which converts an unsaturated liquid fat into a solid one. This lengthens the shelf life, so it’s ideal for restaurants and food manufacturers. However, the body treats hydrogenated fat like saturated fat,which is known to clog arteries, raise your cholesterol, and increase your risk of heart disease and other conditions. Trans fat not only raises your LDL (bad) cholesterol, but it actually lowers to HDL cholesterol as well!

    Read the nutrition labels to see how much trans fat is in a product. Since January 2006, manufacturers have been required to list trans fat content on their labels. Look for the phrases "partially hydrogenated," "hydrogenated vegetable oil," or "shortening" on nutritional labels, since they are dead giveaways products contain some trans fat.
   Cut back on fried, processed, and commercial foods.
   When you are eating out, ask the server what oil is used to prepare your food. If possible, request a healthier oil. Another option is to skip the deep-fried foods.
    Remember that a small amount of trans fat occurs naturally in meat and diary products, so chose lean cuts of meat and low-fat milk.
   A heart-healthy diet means that 30% or less of your total daily calories come from fat, but saturated fat should account for less than 7% of your total daily calories. Monounsaturated fat is a healthier option
    Choose liquid vegetables oils and soft tubs of margarine that contains little or no trans fat
    Avoid eating commercially prepared baked foods, such as cookies, pies, or donuts, snack foods, and processed foods.
   When you can’t avoid foods with trans fat, choose products that list partially hydrogenated oils near the bottom of the ingredient list.

     Restaurants also usually fry their foods in hydrogenated oils, because hydrogenated oils can withstand higher temperatures for longer and don't leave off flavors in food.
     If you do go out, ask the servers how the food is prepared and if they provide nutritional information.

     Excess consumption of trans and other unhealthy fats could contribute to serious health problems, such as heart disease or high cholesterol.

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